1. barren landscape with chunks that look like rocks

    An ancient exploding comet may explain why glass litters part of Chile

    A 75-kilometer-long corridor of chunks of glass in the Atacama Desert probably formed when a comet exploded 12,000 years ago, a study finds.

  2. image of a hand snapping on a yellow backdrop

    New high-speed video reveals the physics of a finger snap

    Inspired by the infamous snap of the Avengers rival Thanos, scientists set out to investigate the physics behind finger snapping.

  3. illustration of debris from a destroyed rocky planet circling a white dwarf star

    Distant rocky planets may have exotic chemical makeups that don’t resemble Earth’s

    Elements sprinkled on white dwarf stars suggest that the mantles of faraway rocky worlds differ greatly from their counterparts in our solar system.

  4. A landscape shot of the Last Ice Area, with the sun setting or rising over ice

    Scientists are racing to save the Last Ice Area, an Arctic Noah’s Ark

    The Last Ice Area may be the final refuge for summer sea ice and the creatures that depend on it. Saving it is an ambitious goal with many hurdles.

  5. a collared puffbird perched on a human hand

    Climate change may be shrinking tropical birds

    Scientists had previously found that migratory birds are getting smaller as temperatures rise. Dozens of tropical, nonmigratory species are too.

  6. a slice of diamond with tiny gray blobs of a newfound mineral called davemaoite

    A mineral found in a diamond’s flaws contains the source of some of Earth’s heat

    A mineral theorized to exist in the mantle was found hiding in a diamond. Dubbed davemaoite, it could explain where some of Earth’s heat comes from.

  7. a nurse draws up a syringe from a vial of COVID-19 vaccine
    Health & Medicine

    No, COVID-19 vaccines won’t make you infertile

    Contrary to misinformation spread by Aaron Rodgers and Nicki Minaj, neither the Pfizer, Moderna nor J&J vaccines cause infertility, data show.

  8. computer simulation of jets from the black hole in galaxy M87

    A stunning simulation re-creates how M87’s black hole launches plasma jets

    Two jets, thousands of light-years long, are re-created in a computer simulation, which suggests that M87’s black hole must be spinning rapidly.

  9. image of an Akoya oyster with several pearls
    Materials Science

    Researchers have unlocked the secret to pearls’ incredible symmetry

    Understanding the structural secrets of how mollusks form symmetrical pearls could inspire more optimal materials for solar panels and space travel.

  10. image of a Richard’s pipit amid grass

    Some songbirds now migrate east to west. Climate change may play a role

    In recent decades, more Richard's pipits are wintering in Europe than before. It may signal the establishment of a totally new migration route.

  11. illustration of a penis worm on the ocean floor

    ‘Penis worms’ may have been the original hermits

    Soft-bodied critters called penis worms inhabited abandoned shells — a la modern-day hermit crabs — by about 500 million years ago, a study suggests.

  12. vials of covid-19 vaccines
    Health & Medicine

    How to choose a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot

    To help you choose between the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters, one reporter looked to the evidence and consulted experts.